Santa Monica's Shelter Stats

A week or so ago Ed Boks sent out an email comparing LAAS's kill stats with County, but especially Long Beach, where he asked rhetorically, "I wonder what is going on there." Long Beach was not doing well at all.

Ed says Santa Monica and Glendale stats were not included in his figures. Why?

I called my old friend, Don Umber, head of SM's shelter. I asked for his stats.

Santa Monica runs a tiny shelter compared to LAAS, about 2-1/2 percent of LA's impounds. However, it is a public shelter, taking all pets no matter what their condition.

I agree SM is a wealthy suburb, but it has animals coming in from nearby communities that would be considered County, such as Culver City as well as from LA.

Also, SM has a large Hispanic/black population south of Olympic and Pico, as well as elderly and poor in the Mid City area and North of Wilshire area.

SM is extremely heavy in rental apartments, including rent controlled apartments. These are the people being driven out by anti rent control forces to apartments that do not accept animals. Lots of homeowners are driven out because of foreclosures, as the average home in SM is extremely expensive.

Most of the renters driven out are low income, middle age, to elderly who have been in their apartments for 10-20 years. Most have multiple animals. This is where most of the owner surrenders come from according to Don.

The houses are in the Ocean Park and Hispanic/black areas around SM Community College.

SM has a population of 88,000, or 2.2% of LA's population. Therefore, SM's impound rate is a little higher than LA's.

Here are the stats sent to me by Don. They are from the Annual Rabies Control stats sent to the County.

Return to Owner.....35.0%
Died in Shelter.......0.1% (Get that, 1/10th of 1%)

The figure do not add up to 100% because I rounded the figures.

Owner surrenders...15%
From public.............48%.

In Santa Monica, if the shelter killed 50 fewer cats, they would be well within Winograd's definition of no kill and better than the Reno or Charlottesville no kill shelters. Even now, the save rate for dogs is 96%, better than any Winograd shelter or the well-funded San Francisco SFSPCA.

However, Don is reluctant to toot his horn as people everywhere know how good SM is at placing pets, and they are bringing in animals from other cities by people claiming they found them in Santa Monica.

Most of the cats killed are ferals or elderly/ill. Less than a dozen neonatals were killed last year, even though he said it was a horrendous kitten season. Makes you wonder why LAAS had so few neonatals impounded and killed. Maybe LAAS was dumping them on Santa Monica.

Santa Monica shelters have a proportionately larger employee base per capita or per animal than LAAS, but only about 2/3 of LAAS' per capita or per animal budget, meaning they get more bang for the buck. They have 11 full time staff compared to 338 for County, and I hear, 350+ for the City. I hear so many different figures for LAAS' buget and employee number I have no idea what is real.

Don says they have a fairly large volunteer and foster base and have a good relationship with a local rescue group that handles kittens. (I used to work with this group.)

I told Don how close his shelters were to no kill using the 10% definition. He says he will try harder to make it so.


Anonymous said...

Don's a laid back guy. He doesn't toot his horn. He was one of the first shelters to save all wildlife. They set up their own wildlife referral system without being asked. They put the little wild babies in carriers on top of heating pads when they come in. They refer all wildlife calls to rehabbers which is better than telling people to bring in the animals. I'm not surprised by his numbers.

Anonymous said...

Umber is the opposite of Boks. Boks tells the world he's "nokill!" Maybe that's why people are dumping more animals, because they think they won't be killed. Boks bullshit biting him in the ass.

Anyone notice that Boks goes from saying "we are nokill," to "we are almost nokill" to "we're on our way to nokill" depending upon the audience. When he wants more money he says we have a long way to go to nokill. If he just wants to look good, he says he made LA nokill already. You can't believe a word that comes out of his mouth.